1 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, washed well, then quartered like a cross
5 oz. fresh Shitake mushrooms, washed well, stems removed from the caps with a knife and discarded
1 jumbo fresh Portobello mushroom cap, washed well, stem removed and discarded, sliced into 3/8 inch wide steaks, then crosswise into 3/4 inch wide segments
4 total T. extra virgin olive oil
fresh grind black pepper
Prep mushrooms first. Then we’re going to cook each type of mushroom separately, but in the same skillet, and rather quickly on medium high heat. If by the time you get to the second batch of mushrooms, the skillet is too hot, reduce the heat somewhat. Act quickly though, we’re not simmering here.
I packed up the sauerkraut on March 3rd, 2018 and stopped the fermentation by refrigerating it on the 1st of April 2018. Although I expected the flavors to stay the same after refrigeration, they did deepen somewhat in acidity since I refrigerated it. Nice though, not too acidic.
In fact, I would call this minced sauerkraut delicate – a delicacy I like. It’s not that I don’t like the stronger tasting sauerkrauts, it’s that I like both and now I have another option. I suspect that when somebody markets a sauerkraut relish, it will be a lot stronger tasting.
The texture was crisp, but not raw-feeling on the palate. Perfect for me.
Maybe packing it tightly, which I didn’t do in order to keep the tiny bits covered with brine creates more fermentation. Maybe the hand-pressing/squeezing of the cabbage contributes to the fermentation. No matter how clean the hands, it’s not the same as a metal blade doing the squeezing as was done with my minced sauerkraut via a food processor. The human skin contributes something, I just don’t know what. When my ribs heal, I’ll try the hand method and compare results.
For now I’m enjoying my delicate minced sauerkraut on veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs – and sometimes straight out of the jar as a spoon snack. I also drink the brine when the sauerkraut is gone. Hope that’s okay. It should be.
This was our Easter dinner believe it or not. And wow what a burger. BOCA ORIGINAL VEGGIE CHIK’N PATTIES pan-fried, topped with Tofutti Dairy-free cheese and cooked till melted, served with red onion slice and fresh tomato on a lightly toasted potato bun spread with Ball Park Mustard and veg mayo. Top the tomato slice with minced sauerkraut and we were in sauerkraut and veggie chick’n burger heaven.
Steve told me how to do this years ago. He discovered it by accident, trying to keep bananas from rotting so quickly. It works every time. I don’t know the science behind it, but the proof is in the result.
This is what you do: When you bring a bunch of bananas home from market, rather than let them set out to ripen too quickly, wrap the bananas in a plastic bag – the type the grocer packs your groceries in. Fairly snuggly. Place the bunch in the bag, then twist the bag, removing all air as you do, then wrap the bag around the bananas.
Now put the wrapped bunch of bananas in another bag the same way, and then a third bag the same way also. Place in the back of the refrigerator or crisper.
The bananas will last quite a while in case you forget to eat them as planned.
You don’t have to be Slavic, Germanic or Baltic to like sauerkraut, even though I’m all three and then some.
Doesn’t everybody like sauerkraut?
The big news to me recently was that sauerkraut isn’t pickled. I just naturally assumed it was due to its pickled taste. No vinegar though, just fermented cabbage.
More big news was that lots of people are making their own. Really? Why? I guess it’s like anything else, homemade usually tastes best. But more than that, lots of people are concerned about what’s going on in their digestive system and what they can do proactively to make things run smoother. Eat fermented foods is what I’m hearing.
Now I’m not a big fan of fermented anything, since I associate fermentation with bacteria and foamy moldy stuffs. But I drink beer and eat tofu and used to eat cheese. Yeah, but all those are done under strict controls and guidelines, leaving no room for error. Let me loose with fermenting anything and I could unwittingly poison myself. Besides, I’m a big fan of refrigeration so foods don’t spoil, so why would I leave food out knowing it was going to essentially spoil? And then eat it?
I’ll leave it to the experts. I don’t have all that equipment anyway. Fermenting crock pots, or something like that, and weights and next thing you know I’m operating a factory out of my little apartment. No thanks.
Still, I’m intrigued over something so mundane that everybody is doing it – and making a food that I happen to like. How difficult could it be? I have this small cabbage with nothing to do. I search for a jar big enough with a lid, but everything’s in use except a few small jars.
When I want something it’s usually now, not tomorrow or next week. My cabbage is ready and I’m ready to do something with it.
I do a little research. Man, I didn’t know people squeezed the cabbage with their hands till it bleeds water – for twenty minutes? Did I get that wrong? I have a couple cracked ribs I’m still recovering from. I have trouble opening a jar and still scream when I cough, and my jars are small. How do I fit shredded cabbage into something so small and keep it covered with salted water, without a weight?
I do know from making coleslaw that you usually can’t keep it overnight without the water from the cabbage seeping into the dressing, watering it down while the cabbage becomes limp. Yeah, but I’d have to wait overnight. Do I refrigerate it while I wait for the cabbage to bleed its water?
Okay. I have to find a way to make the cabbage bleed its water without squeezing it. My ribs won’t let me squeeze.
Use the food processor. Mince the cabbage. Make minced sauerkraut. Yeah. I like the idea. Top your veggie dog or burger with minced sauerkraut, sort of like relish. I can do that with small jars.
I remove outer leaves from a small green cabbage, remove the core, cut the cabbage into something like quarters, then slice it into strips about 3/8 inch wide.
Place in food processor and process till evenly finely chopped, scraping insides of bowl a few times.
Transfer to large bowl and add about 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt, then using potato slammer, press lightly (because my ribs hurt) and stir to evenly distribute and melt the salt. Let set about 1/2 hour is what I did till cabbage bleeds its water.
Make sure my jars and lids are clean, which they are. Transfer minced cabbage into jars, then evenly divide up the liquid from bottom of bowl and pour into the jars.
Now, I don’t have quite enough liquid to cover the cabbage, so I add filtered water pretty much to the top – since cabbage floats, and I don’t have weights.
I cap the jars, wipe the outsides clean and dry.
Label the jars with the date, then set them out on the bar counter to do their thing.
Next day I look and nothing appears changed. Next day after that same thing. Next day after that I lift the jars thinking I should maybe shake them to be sure all cabbage bits are covered with water. I am surprised to find the jars dripping in water, all over the bar counter and down the bar wall. They looked the same though, so where is the water coming from? The lids are screwed on tight. Are the jars broken and I didn’t see it? So much of it. The green cupboard mat they were setting on was soaked.
I figure I needed another jar, which I had, so I took some cabbage from each of the three jars to make a fourth jar, then I topped it with salted filtered water, cleaned them all up, recapped, cleaned all counter surfaces and wall and let them to their thing again.
In a few days I noticed that all the liquid had been absorbed by the cabbage bits, so I added more salted water. That’s when I went internetting again to see what I was doing wrong or what my next step should be, and if it was okay to expose the fermenting cabbage to air by cracking the lid a bit. I came across a ‘make your own sauerkraut in jars’ website and I guess all that happened was predictable.
Holly said to start tasting after a week to see if it tastes okay and that some people like it at that stage. Or you could go on for a few weeks, then refrigerate up to a year.
I tasted my ‘kraut and it had a mildly acidic pleasing taste and a crisp but not raw texture, so I figured I’d let it go for a while longer to see if it becomes more acidic. I also added a little more salt to each jar and shook them up to evenly disperse it.
That’s where I am now. No visible mold or bad smell.
This is how my Mince Sauerkraut looks on 18 March 2018
My contribution to sauerkraut is the minced part. I’ve never seen it, though that hardly means nobody has ever made it. I’m making it and publicizing it. This is my new condiment for veggie hot dogs and burgers.
Check out the website below to learn more about making sauerkraut in a jar so you don’t have to do the trial and error thing like I did.
Limes are difficult to squeeze. Even when you firmly roll them on the counter under your hand to loosen the membranes they, unlike the lemon, do not respond as well.
If you have a microwave this is what to do:
First wash the lime.
Next, on the side of the lime make about a 3/4 inch deep slit with the tip of a sharp knife – about 1/2 inch wide.
Now cross that slit with a matching one, so it looks like a cross.
Place in cup – slit side up – then microwave for thirty seconds to one minute, depending on the wattage of your unit. You don’t want it to blow up, though if it does, then next time just scale back on the time.
Remove from microwave, let set till cool, then squeeze over bowl to release all juice.
Lemons respond well too. It’s especially helpful in keeping seeds inside the lemon and only allowing the juice to come out.
For that reason don’t make the slits too large. A small opening is sufficient.
I don’t deep fry anything. I don’t like the dangers it presents in a small living space, but also the high fat content. I reserve my deep fry cravings (if you can call them that) for eating out. This is, however, one of the ways I pan-fry tofu at home. Give it a try! The coating is gluten-free!
Makes 1 package of tofu planks – 10 for this recipe.
Bring to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff.
The original recipe on the package calls for 1-3/4 cup water for 1 cup rice. Now that I’ve done it two ways. I prefer the way with 1/4 cup water less per 1 cup rice.
3 c. water
2 t. salt
2 c. rice.
Bring water, salt and rice to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 40 minutes, stirring midway through and returning cover to complete 20 minutes longer. Remove from heat and fluff.
The original recipe on the package calls for 4 cups water. I tried it two ways and preferred less water with the recommended cooking time of 40 minutes.
Both rice colors maintained their firmness on the first chew, while plumped sufficiently to make the subsequent chews tender.
All you need is an electric coffee bean grinder and 5 spices. 5 Spice is somewhat like curry. Everybody who uses it has their own combination and amounts of spices they prefer. This is mine! Hope you like it!
Let’s use as an example the IMPOSSIBLE BURGER that recently was introduced on many restaurant menus around the country – many animal-based restaurants.
The two in question are located downtown Cleveland, Ohio: STACK’D HANDCRAFTED SANDWICHES and WAHLBURGER’S.
Steve and I wanted to try the burger, so he checked both restaurants which claimed to carry it and they both did. However, neither restaurant provided a vegan bun or vegan cheese or vegan sauce. Everything except the burger was animal-based.
That’s like serving a gluten-free burger on a gluten bun to a person who does not eat gluten. It makes no sense.
As future chefs and restaurant owners, do the logical thing when serving vegan: Make the entire dish vegan or at least say it can be made vegan.
It almost seems intentional or a slap in the face to vegans who are the ones who worked and fought for decades to see these animal-free changes made in food offerings in restaurants. For meat-lovers only.
A vegan burger for meat lovers only. Flip it to the vegans who can’t have it because everything on it is animal-based. How small of STACK’D and WAHLBURGER’S.
If you serve main dishes at your restaurant, chances are you serve baked potatoes. Even if you don’t serve breakfast, you can still utilize your leftover bakers by offering this skillet main dish as a special!
Pink lentils, although smaller and thinner than the garden variety light brown lentil, absorb more water quicker, fluffing up more like rice than legumes.
The first time I saw these in the market, many years ago, I was awed. Wow. Pink legumes. Of course I had to have some, only to be disappointed to see them lose their salmony pink color to a yellow pea hue when cooked. Actually more beige than yellow. But they are tender, they are flavorful and they blend into velvet smoothness when processed in a blender, not requiring any oil to achieve that smoothness.
When adding pink lentils to a soup broth the texture will feel rough. It’s only when you blend them that the smooth emerges. So that’s how I would recommend serving them. Test them out though and see for yourself. Maybe with the right veggies the rough texture of the lentils, when left whole, won’t matter. We’re not talking tough here. Pink lentils are tender. They just have a rough mouth-feel. That’s probably why most chefs add oil to the mix, and then blend some, not all, of the lentils to help with that rough feel throughout the soup.
Canned brown sugar baked beans combined with sauteed pineapple, onion and mushrooms. Flavored with beer, white wine and sage. Made creamy with a Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and fresh orange blend!
Mario Batali’s Bronze Extruded Tortiglioni tossed with a Pasta Rub of Pumpkin Seed Snow, smoked paprika and garlic. Tossed with a saute of Gardein Chick’n with peppers and red onion in a smokey tomato marinara and peas with a splash of orange! And it’s all cooked up in Guy Fieri’s non-stick cast iron fry pan! Oh, and a fresh basil garnish!
Makes 15 cups pasta w/sauce
16 oz. box Bronze Extruded Pasta Tortiglioni style (large ribbed tubes) – I used Mario Batali brand – cooked in lots of sufficiently salted boiling water till tender, then drained and left in colander to continue the drain, shaking them every few minutes to reposition the tubes in the colander – we want as little moisture as possible on the tubes
Malic acid is found in many sour or tart-tasting foods such as fruit; it’s used to add flavor and texture to fruit fillings and jellies in baked goods.
What is Malic Acid?
Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid with the molecular formula C4H6O5 (Figure 1). It is made by all living organisms and it contributes to the pleasantly sour taste of fruits. Malic acid is used as a flavor enhancer, flavor agent and adjuvant, and pH control agent in food products.1
Figure 1 L- Malic acid
Malic acid was first isolated from apply juice in 1785, by the Swedish Chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who referred to it as “acid of apples.”2
Malic acid has a clean, mellow, smooth, persistent sourness.
It has flavor enhancement and blending abilities. Malic acid aids the formulator, because it intensifies the impact of many flavors in foods or beverages, often reducing the amount of flavor needed; it blends distinct flavors resulting in a well-rounded flavor experience; it improves aftertaste by extending the impact of some flavors; it increases burst and aromaticity of some flavor notes in certain beverage applications; it boosts savory flavors like cheese and hot peppers in snack food coatings; it deepens and broadens the flavor profile of many products, resulting in a richer, more natural flavor experience.
It has a high solubility rate.
It has lower hygroscopicity than citric or tartaric acids.
It has a lower melting point than other acids for easier incorporation into molten confections.
It has good chelating properties with metal ions.
Malic acid has two stereoisomeric forms (L- and D- enantiomers), and only the L-isomer exists naturally. Commercial production of malic acid is by hydration of fumaric acid or maleic acid and the product is DL-malic acid.1
When malic acid is used to enhance flavors, usually less flavor additives are needed. This improves economies while the overall flavor profile is broader and more natural.
In the non-carbonated beverages, malic acid is a preferred acidulant since it could enhance fruit flavors, and mask the aftertaste of some salts.
In powdered mixes, malic acid is preferred due to its rapid dissolution rate.
In beverage containing intense sweeteners, malic acid’s extended sourness masks sweetener aftertaste and its blending and fixative abilities give a balanced taste.
In calcium-fortified beverages, using malic acid in place of citric acid prevents turbidity due to precipitated calcium citrate.
Malic acid has a lower melting point than other food acids- this means that it can be incorporated into the molten hard candy without added water- shelf life is increased since the initial moisture level in the hard candy is lower.
Bakery products with fruit fillings (cookies, snack bars, pies, and cakes) have a stronger and more naturally balanced fruit flavor when the fruit filling includes malic acid. Pectin gel texture is more consistent due to Malic Acid’s buffering capacity.
Malic acid is the predominately active ingredient for prune juice concentrate as the natural mold inhibitor for baking products.3
Malic acid is affirmed as GRAS by FDA which is listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 21 Part 184.1069)1. The ingredients are used in food, except baby food, at levels not to exceed good manufacturing practice. Current good manufacturing practice results in a maximum level, as served, of 3.4% for nonalcoholic beverages, 3.0% for chewing gum, 0.8% for gelatins, pudding, and fillings, 6.9% for hard candy, 2.6% for jams and jellies, 3.5% for processed fruits and fruit juices, 3.0% for soft candy, 0.7% for all other food categories.1
“21CFR184.1069.” CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. N.p., 1 Apr. 2016.
Jensen, William B. “Malic, Maleic and Malonic Acid.” Ask the Historian (2007): 1-2. Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati. Web. Accessed on 27 June 2016.
Renee Alberts-Nelson. “Clean Label Mold Inhibitors for Baking”. Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension FAPC-173, 2010.
A ‘Cure Whatever Ails You’ Soup. Or at least you’ll think you’re cured. Hibiscus, lavender, black forbidden rice with lots of veggies, herbs and spice makes the alternative cricket tastes especially nice!
Sexual misconduct often part of the job in hospitality work
CHICAGO (AP) — One woman recalls how a general manager at a Chicago-area restaurant where she worked told her that if security cameras recorded him reaching between her legs and grabbing her genitals, he could simply “edit that out.”
Another woman worked at an Atlanta restaurant and says her boss did nothing when two dishwashers kept making vulgar comments, so she quit wearing makeup to look less attractive and hopefully end the verbal abuse.
In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against several prominent men in entertainment, politics and journalism, accounts like the ones these women share quietly play out in restaurants, bars and hotels across the country and rarely get the headlines.
Court documents and interviews with the women and experts on the topic show hospitality industry workers are routinely subjected to sexual abuse and harassment from bosses, co-workers and customers that are largely unchecked. The nature of the work, which often has employees relying on tips, can make them especially vulnerable to abuse.
“I was absolutely humiliated,” said Sharonda Fields, who said the abuse at the Atlanta restaurant began shortly after she started working there last year. “It was degrading. I felt embarrassed. I felt low. I just felt like nothing happened when those guys talked to me that way, and especially when the staff and the managers knew what was going on. It made me feel like dirt.”
She filed a lawsuit against the restaurant last spring. Calls to the restaurant from The Associated Press went unanswered.
Joyce Smithey, an Annapolis, Maryland, attorney who has handled several sexual harassment lawsuits, said those accused of misconduct “have a great sense of who the victims are, who the women are who will put up with this, who need the job, are so scared they don’t fight back.”…
This dish does not require much cooking time. Serve as a stew or as a topper for baked white or sweet potatoes. I went the sweet potato route this time. The horseradish element in the sauce works well with the sweet of the potato. Hearty, filling, but you leave the table feeling good about the experience. New, different but familiar! Just how I like it!
There are multiple nuances that restaurants can use with their menus to coax customers into spending on more high-profit dishes. Read our resource article on the topic.
For years, restaurateurs have struggled with how to lay out a menu that is informative, readable, and — most importantly — profitable. While the debate on what does or does not work for certain is still raging, psychologists have conducted enough studies to conclusively arrive at a list of practices that every business should incorporate into their restaurant menu templates. With these subtle nods and nudges, you’re not only making strides toward profitability, but also customer satisfaction, giving you the best of both worlds.
Menu theory splits foods into different categories to address them. There are:
“Stars” (high profit, high sales)
“Puzzles” (high profit, low sales)
“Plow horses” (low profit, high sales)
“Dogs” (low profit, low sales)
The general idea is that you want to show off your stars, improve your puzzles, keep your plow horses, and generally sell or drop your dogs. By figuring out which of your foods fall into these categories, organizing your menu becomes much, much easier.
If you don’t have sales figures for your menu items to categorize them, take some time to gather the data so you can make the most profitable decision when creating a layout.
What We Know
There are multiple nuances that restaurants can use with their menus to coax customers into spending on more high-profit dishes. First, refrain from using currency indicators like dollar signs. These symbols make customers feel like they’re spending more, even when they’re not. Similarly, avoid using prices that include 99 cents on the end, regardless of how affordable the product may be. Because of countless factors, including television infomercials, reading a price listed with .99 on the end is considered to be cheap and unsatisfying. Using .95 to indicate cents is much more successful than .99 since it feels “friendlier,” although many restaurants make the choice to do away with decimals all together and simply round to the best dollar. Regardless of your choice, make sure you at least don’t use price columns, which call attention to what you’re charging, and never use price trails (the “…” before a price), which are even worse.
Wording is equally important since the proper phrasing can make a customer’s mouth water before they even see their food, increasing your earnings by as much as 27%. Ethnic (“Italian”) or geographic (“Tuscany”) terms are especially helpful in conveying flavors or a sense of atmosphere in your restaurant as a whole…
A simple, creamy, light, rich, persimmon salad dressing with the uncanny ability to make all the ingredients in your salad shine – a blessing. For special occasions when you are out to IMPRESS! Oh, and the surprise ingredient? Diet Tonic Water. Wow. It works. Perfect for fruit salads!
Normally we don’t garnish with dried herbs, because the rough feel on the mouth throws the texture achievement of the entire dish into chaos.
However, there is a way to utilize the potency of a dried herb by turning it to powder. We use paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg et al as garnish and they’re all powdered. Now we powder the dried herbs. We’re already familiar with powdered sage and rosemary. All we need to do is find a way to powder them at home – and then grind others as well. You can’t do this in a blender or food processor. They won’t turn out. You must use a good quality coffee grinder.
When grinding dried herbs into a powder, fill the well of the coffee grinder, process till powdered, then sift through a wire mesh strainer over a bowl several times to remove all the residue bits.
Don’t try to push all the material through the strainer. Instead, shake softly back and forth not letting hard bits escape through the holes by you forcing them through with a rough shake. Discard the residue bits from bottom of strainer.
Place sifted powdered herb into a jar with a lid and use when wanted.
Powdered herbs are useful for adding to a dish just before serving by stirring till it disappears into the dish. It creates a more potent flavor profile. Just be sure that you want the added flavor and only sprinkle lightly to keep from overpowering the overall flavor achievement.
I used dried mint as the herb I wanted to powder. And it worked nicely in the dish in which I used it. Occasionally when I want a mint flavor in a dish I usually don’t have any fresh on hand. Now I can improvise with powdered mint.
Your Fruit Is Covered With Nasty Pesticides: Scientists Have Discovered the Best Way to Wash Them Off
Kate Sheridan,NewsweekWed, Oct 25 2:45 PM EDT
A common kitchen product could supercharge fruit-washing protocols. A new study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistryon Thursday, found that baking soda could remove far more pesticide from the surface of an apple than just tap water or a bleach rinse.
“Generally speaking in the U.S., the amount of pesticides on apples are well controlled,” said Lili He, a food scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and one of the authors of the paper. Scientists already knew that pesticides could be absorbed into fruits and that baking soda could remove them. However, no one had measured how deeply the pesticides had been absorbed. “We are the first ones to study how far it has penetrated and how hard it can be to wash away,” He said.
For their experiments, He and her colleagues picked up organic Gala apples from a local Stop and Shop and got two chemicals often used to treat fruits in the U.S. One, thiabendazole, kills fungus; the other, phosmet, kills insects. They applied the pesticides to the apples at the maximum level allowed by U.S. regulations. Then, they tried to get the pesticides off using tap water, bleach and a baking soda soak.
That’s what Papa Nicks in Cleveland, Ohio said it was okay to do. In fact they encouraged it when I asked about it. So the next time we ordered take-out on our way shopping to pick up later, we first dropped off some vegan cheeses: Daiya Mozzarella Shreds and Follow Your Heart Provolone Slices. They did a great job. We left the extra for them to try. They said they would.